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  • Writer's pictureKeith Bailey

I Ranked And Reviewed The Best Riflescopes For Hunting In 2023

Looking for the perfect hunting scope for your rifle? The best optics nowadays are smaller, yet nimbler. Read these hands-on reviews.

FYI, Prices and ratings are accurate as of time of writing.

1. Vortex Optics - Diamondback Tactical (6-24x50) First Focal Plane Riflescope

Top-rated: 2,544 ratings | 227 answered questions

Credit: Austin Bushman

Highlight: Extra-low dispersion glass and fully multi-coated lenses transmit a crisp, bright sight picture.

Helpful review: "Couldn’t have asked for more, turrets track amazing, reticle is dead, both center and mils. I bore sighted the scope before shooting (just by eye, no laser or tools) and I was 3 Mils high and 2 right, adjusted according to my observation of that on the optic and it was dead on. Less then 10 rounds shot to a very shootable zero. Shot a few groups and it’s amazing the difference a good optic can make compared to the one that generally comes with rifle/scope combinations. I feel I can in know way shoot to this scopes ability so I think it’s the perfect choice for a new long range shooter, it has the basics dead on, no fancy features but the turrets track Great, picture is crystal and the reticle is dead accurate. The ONLY thing I could complain about is like others have said, adjusting your head to get a good sight picture can require a bit of work, the optic wants you in a specific spot but with the right mounting for eye relief, it’s not noticeable. BUT overall 10/10, amazing first focal plane sight, this is my first one and I’d never go back to anything else given the choice." — Joshua B.
Trending review: "One of the best value long range scopes I've ever seen, and I've tried dozens of optics. I got the 4-16x version for my 22lr and was blown away. Clear glass edge to edge, works well in low light, and adjustable parallax 20 yards-600+ yards. Only downside, and only reason I'm returning it, is the lack of illumination. If that doesn't bother you, you'll be hard pressed to find anything better for around $400." — CrunkyMonky
Updated review: "For $400 dollars I really was t expecting much, I was completely wrong! Hands down you cannot beat this scope for the price point. Your not getting $2000 glass or features but you are getting so much more than you pay for!! I have only shot at 50 and 100 yards just to sight in but there is not a single complaint! Glass is crystal clear, parallax is dead on perfect, the turrets while slightly mushy give very sharp audible clicks. It tracked wonderfully on the tracking test and is just dead on wonderful. I’ll try and update again after I have more rounds through it. Overall though I would recommend and buy again!
Update #1: went out to the range to see how good of a group I could put together and to see if there were any issues or changes in zero. Everything is still wonderful. My best five shot group at 100 yards was measured at 0.62 in with a Weatherby .300 win mag using Hornady 180 grain SST Super performance ammo. I love this scope and have recommended it to two guys at the range today. Can’t say enough good things for the price of this scope and the performance it gives you!" — Christopher

Get it from Amazon now: $399.99 & FREE Returns


2. Sightmark Wraith - HD (2-16x28) Day/Night Riflescope

Top-rated: 232 ratings | 53 answered questions

Highlight: High resolution imaging with video recording in 1080p HD.

Helpful review: "If you are looking for "real" night vision you can stop reading in a few more words, this scope is not that. This "scope" is a digital camera. This camera needs some source of artificial light to work in low light or in the dark. That is why the pictures show it with a flash light attached to it and the flash light must be somewhat zeroed to the scopes field of view during setup. Please note the flashlight is infrared or IR for short which I won't try to explain other than to say it's not visible to human eyes and probably most animals. However, the IR light is very visible to anyone with "real" night vision or a camera that is sensitive to the IR spectrum. Now on to the scope...It's heavier than expected and pretty bulky. Battery life isn't great at about 4hrs with the 4AAs, but you can power it with a external power source for more run time. I'm not really a fan of the manual focus, but it is what it is. If you want to hunt when you otherwise could not this will scope will do exactly that, it has compromises as one might expect when you want to see in the dark for a relatively cheap price of admission. Real night vision scopes have their problems too, price of admission being one and why this scope probably even exist.
Now on to actually using this scope. I don't expect any surprising problems and it feels solid, but it is a digital camera so who knows how durable it'll be over the long haul. Sighting in was pretty easy. I had read the instructions before heading to the range, but forgot to take them with me. Still I was able to do the one shot zero on the first attempt. That being said, once that is done you'll probably want to fine tune it. The user interface is simple enough and 20-30 minutes of use I was pretty comfortable with navigating the menus. Concluding, yeah it's not "real" night vision, if you don't know or realize that going in, I don't know what to say other than you need to read what this product is before purchase. The fact is it works just as described by Sightmark. It will allow you to see / hunt in complete darkness out to a limited range. That's about all I can say at this time. Pros: cheap relative to "real" night vision, works. Cons: weight, battery life, manual focus." — T.P.

Get it from Amazon now: $499.97 & FREE Returns


3. Bushnell - Engage Riflescope

Top-rated: 373 ratings | 114 answered questions

Credit: Pure Wyoming Productions LLC

Highlight: The 0.18-MOA-thick crosshairs are easy to see without obstructing the target picture, and there are hash marks at every 1 MOA for accurate elevation holdover. The hash marks below zero are 2-MOA wide to aid in accurate windage holds.

Helpful review: "I purchased the 2.5-10x44 version of this scope for my 10/22 after watching a few reviews on YouTube and I am absolutely impressed with the quality, durability, and price of this scope. I had a Bushnell scope a few years ago that was very lacking in every way I.E. wouldn’t hold zero, collected very little light, and the turrets moved the crosshairs with almost zero consistency. I swore I would never buy another Bushnell scope again, but against my judgment I did and I am so glad I went with it. Tracking is from what I’ve seen perfect, held zero with no problems, let’s in plenty of light, and has lots of higher end scope features like target style locking turrets, 30mm scope tube, and side parallax adjustment in a scope that only costs around 270 dollars! In comparison to my vortex diamondback tactical 4-16x44, it’s close but for the price and features almost have to recommend this scope over the vortex (which is hard for me to say as a vortex fanboy) and very well may be switching over to Bushnell if they can keep this quality and price point consistent." — Dillon
Trending review: "As others have said, the reticle is hard to see if you shoot with dark background at dark targets and have your AARP card. On white paper shooting small circles, it's great. I had a hard time shooting black, shoot-n-c targets in dark woods. Truth be told, I'm 51 and my eyesight ain't what it used to be. My nephew says it's me, looks fine to him, so if you're 50+ years old, this might not be the scope for you for hunting in the dark woods. I still like the scope, ALOT! So it will go from 22lr squirrel gun to .17HMR target gun. The turrets are easy to adjust, loud, easily audible, positive clicks. The clarity of this scope rivals scopes I have that cost double. So yeah, great scope, wish the reticle was a little thicker." — Mike
Reassuring review: "I have a LOT of scopes (way too many, I guess). I have some very poor, older Chinese scopes. Also have some Leupold LRTs and a Sightron SIII. Due to the length of my 2 private ranges, I have no need for very high power optics. I do have some 30X and 40X scopes, but never use them over 20X. I also prefer 3-15 and 6-24..... I prefer SFP. The glass on this Engage is excellent. Bright and crisp. The turrets have excellent tactile feel. MUCH better than the TWO, new SWFA 10X42mm SF models I bought recently. The SWFA glass is great, but the turrets are worse than a NcStar. Go figure. The only 'criticism' I have, is the cross hairs are very fine. I sighted in the scope this am, but that range was completely in the shade. Would like to have some 'dots' in the reticle. Or IR in this situation. It would be difficult to hunt with this scope in low light. But, I only shoot paper now days. Haha. Most of my recent scope purchases have been in the $500 range. This scope is a bargain at just over $400. Lastly, virtually all scopes in this price range are Chinese. Once you get over $500, you may get some from the Philippines. All are a wash with today's technology." — Ron Bussiere

Get it from Amazon now: $449.99 & FREE Returns


4. Vortex Optics - Strike Eagle Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

Top-rated: 2,916 ratings | 334 answered questions

Vortex Optics - Strike Eagle Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

Highlight: The new illuminated BDC3 reticle focuses the shooter's eye to the target faster. Holdovers allow for immediate use out to 650 yards for targets of known distance.

Trending review: "Finally. I can see my target. Just what my tired, old eyes needed. I am no longer able to focus on my Mag Pul flip up front sight. At 1x the Strike Eagle has NO parallax, and AR-BDC reticle acquisition is fast with semi-precise face/ stock placement. Impressive-- from 6 feet to 50 yards-- haven't practiced at 1x out to 100y yet. Love the arc in the AR-BDC. Reticle focus was set at 1x (now I don't need glasses) and did not change when scope dialed to 6x. Magnification wheel easy to turn-- has a large cog to enhance grip-- and stays set. At 6x I was able to clearly see a 1" bullseye, and was able to shoot 3/4 MOA groups with my AR-15's 16" (match grade) barrel and match grade ammo (and occasionally I'd put two rounds on top of each other at 100y-- not bad for a hack). Took 6 rounds to zero scope. Like the extra battery in the windage cap. Detents for windage and elevation are very fine---user has to pay attention. Appreciated 1/2 MOA/ click adjustments on a 1-6x scope (some competitors are 1 MOA per click). My only criticism: Scope caps that flip "up" obstruct vision when raising one's weapon from low-ready to pointed in. I turned mine 90 degrees so they flip to the right (I am right eye dominant, and I don't like looking over the open scope caps). I am able to keep both eyes open when acquiring the reticle at 1x. Caps are a bit flimsy, but do an OK job of protecting the scope's lenses. Otherwise, this is a very well-built scope and unbeatable for the money. Excellent product (old guys rule!)." — Amazon Customer
Helpful review: "For the price, this scope is FANTASTIC. The glass is very good for this price. It definitely does not compare with my Zeiss V4's, Zeiss Conquest MC's, Nightforce, or Swarovski. But the big eye box DOES rank right up there, with Zeiss! None of that "looking thru a toilet paper tube" effect. My RRA .223 is shooting just as tight of groups with this Vortex as it did with a more expensive scope, so I know it is functioning properly. The turrets are very crisp and the parallax adjustment works very well. But...the is SUPERB. One of the best features. Rarely do I find a MOA reticle that I like, but I am in love with this one. Not too thick, not to thin. Nice spacing, and not cluttered at all. And the illumination is PERFECT. No light-scatter whatsoever. As for customer service; top notch. While laser bore sighting, I noticed something odd. Customer service said they better look at it. Less than a week later I got not an email, but a PHONE CALL from the service department! He checked it out, said it was fine, and explained to me why I was seeing what I was seeing. So it was sent for nothing. But Vortex paid shipping both ways, and it only took 8 business days from when I sent it, to when I got it back. Vortex customer service cannot be beat!!! Thank-you Vortex!
UPDATE: I purchased a second one for a new HW 97K air rifle. My first shooting session the notoriously accurate HW 97 was putting five shots in one hole at 35 yards. Eight months and about 1000 pellets later, the point of impact and grouping is the same, and I have never had to adjust the scope. Spring air rifles are incredibly hard on scopes, so this Strike Eagle is proving its durability." — Shaun Devrisky

Get it from Amazon now: $499.00 & FREE Returns


5. Sightmark Wraith - HD (4-32x50) Digital Night Vision Riflescope

Top-rated: 1,269 ratings | 240 answered questions

Sightmark Wraith - HD (4-32x50) Digital Night Vision Riflescope

Highlight: 5 weapon profiles to save zeroes for different firearms and calibers.

Helpful review: "Got to use the scope on a 2 night hog hunt. I was pleased with the scope for the most part. It does have limitations from my experience. 1. the night vision is useless at night without the illuminator but that is expected. So, when using the scope with the illuminator take care to have a good line of sight to your intended target. Grass, twigs, and the feeder produce some blow back lighting from the illuminator that the scope picks up. This causes the landscape behind these things to become somewhat darker. In my case, the hog I was tracking in the scope was a bit difficult to see since it was feeding about 30 yards behind behind the feeder causing the pig to be darker in the scope. I was still able to make a successful shot but it was not like in an open field. 2. it is more difficult to measure distance and depth at night through the scope. I let my hog go the first time since I thought it was quite small compared to the feeder I was using as a gauge for size. Eventually, (30 minutes later) I decided to take the shot at the pig that I thought was about 5-10 yards behind the feeder. It was more like 30-35 yards. The overall shot was about 75 yards from my blind instead of the 45 yard shot I thought that I was taking. 3. If you expect to scan for game all night, you may want to rethink that. I was using a thermal scope to see the hog that I harvested before it came in to me. Without the thermal, I don't think I would have seen the pig until I heard it splashing in the mud and water from behind the feeder. I was able to experiment with its capabilities on deer that I saw throughout the night during my hunt. I was able to see the deer from quite a distance away but when I tried to find them in my scope using the IR illuminator, it was impossible until they came within 100 yards due to the foliage that popped up here and there that seemed to block the illuminator from reaching the deer. Once the deer were clear of the brush of the clear cut I was watching. With this being said, I am still happy that I purchased this scope and it performs well especially for the price. Just understand that there are limitations to this type of night vision scope. Keep your shoot lanes clear of unnecessary obstruction and you should be good." — DT
Trending review: "A friend had one of these and after trying it I had to buy one. They are by far the best value around for night vision scopes. Only complaint is the menu buttons are hard to find and push in the dark but once you get used to it it's a non-issue. Very easy to set up and sight in. Works great in either daylight or total darkness. The IR light that comes with